McCAUGHEY: Illegal Immigrant Crime Surge Brings Killers & Criminal Gangs – It Must Stop

By Betsy McCaughey

Former New York City Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly, the department's longest-serving commissioner, cautioned on Sunday that New York City's quality of life "has really deteriorated." Migrant crime is a major reason.

Venezuela's notorious Tren de Aragua gang and El Salvador's feared MS-13 -- what former FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker calls "prison-spawned gangs" -- are threatening to take over American cities. They bring "mindless knuckle-dragging violence," warns Swecker. They're the "most dangerous gangs on the planet."
Swecker speculates that countries are emptying their prisons deliberately.

Gang leaders setting up crime rings in the U.S. "come out of the muck and the slime of the South American prisons."

While law enforcement officials here are warning us about the collapse of public safety, left-wing pols deny there's a problem.

Ana Maria Archila, co-director of New York's Working Families Party, calls the "chaos and insecurity" people are feeling a "false sense." She blames it on racism and xenophobia, not reality. Open your eyes, Ms. Archila.

Public safety is visibly spiraling downward:

  • Migrants beating cops in Times Square;
  • Migrants running Prostitution Rings;
  • Migrants on mopeds robbing pedestrians;
  • Migrants shoplifting & stripping retail stores; and now a
  • Migrant who recently left New York has been arrested for killing a Georgia nursing student, Laken Riley.
Not everyone violating the border is a hardened criminal, but President Joe Biden's open borders are allowing the worst to get in.

When Mayor Eric Adams was asked on Feb. 20 about stabbing incidents and violence against cops at the Randall's Island shelter, Adams said that "even the most peaceful person -- being confined to an area with 3,000 people ... there comes a time where it just irritates you."

"Irritates"? Adams is downplaying a serious threat.

New York's misguided "sanctuary city" policy makes the danger worse.

If a migrant is arrested in New York, the NYPD is barred from communicating with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement to determine whether the migrant should be deported, jailed or allowed back on the street. On Monday, Adams stated clearly that sanctuary status must be changed so migrants who commit felonies can be picked up by ICE and deported. He's said it before. Now it needs to happen.

Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, entered the U.S. from Venezuela illegally in September 2022, was granted "parole" under Biden's policy and came to New York on a bus. While here, he was arrested once but not detained. Now he's charged with murdering Riley, who was out jogging on the University of Georgia's Athens campus.

Swecker suggests that "this man did not burst spontaneously into a criminal overnight. This is someone who has committed crimes before."

After moving to Athens, Georgia, Ibarra was arrested three times, including for shoplifting. But Athens is also a sanctuary city, and he was always released.

On Saturday at CPAC, Donald Trump likened "migrant crime" to the deeds of fictional killer Hannibal Lecter, who eats victims. Not such a stretch in Ibarra's case, considering he's charged with "murder with malice" for bludgeoning Riley's body until it was disfigured.
The vicious gang MS-13 is resurging and may join forces with Tren de Aragua. In 2017, an MS-13 gang hacked and beheaded four Long Island teens, using machetes, knives and a chisel. Gruesome.

The Left denies migrant crime is a problem. The public knows better. A new Pew Research Center report says 57% of Americans believe the huge influx of migrants is leading to more crime.

On Saturday, Adams stood in Times Square, boasting that it's safe. But saying it doesn't make it so.

Just two days earlier, a teenager visiting the "Crossroads of the World" for the first time was knifed by a gang of masked attackers, including several migrants. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital with a collapsed lung.

Migrant gangs pose the biggest danger, but pervasive sex trafficking is also a scourge. Watch at about 6 p.m. each day as women exit shelters and get picked up in cars, leaving their kids behind for the night. It's happening in all five boroughs, according to Homeland Security Investigations Deputy Agent in Charge Darren McCormack.

Are neighbors who criticize what's happening xenophobic and racist? No.

They just want a decent life, and they see it disappearing fast.

Betsy McCaughey is a Constitutional Scholar with a Ph.D. from Columbia University, and is a former Lt. Governor of the State of New York. McCaughey is a syndicated columnist and weekly columnist for the New York Post.